Episode 274 · 3 weeks ago
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
On this momentous day, in which the very nature of American politics may be defined anew for the foreseeable future, Jonah wanted to have on Razib Khan, director of science at Insitome, to talk about the most relevant, up-to-the-minute, topical subject so that, in this consciousness-shifting moment, we may be able to hold on for dear life and come up with a coherent worldview amidst the chaos. That subject, you ask? Dog genetics. How did Man’s Best Friend become such a highly variegated species – some big, some small, some smart, others dumb, and on and on with countless other variables? Razib fills us in on the state of research into canine development over the last 10,000 years, why the regional variations between lineages of dog are so distinct, and how the new frontiers of this genetic research seek to address “how these animals became what they are, and how they evolved alongside humans in response to environmental pressures.” We also get to hear Razib voice what may be the most controversial statement of our political era: “Wolves are smarter than dogs.” Tune in to hear Razib defend this heretical stance.
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Episode 264 · 1 month ago
TO OUR FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD! Not seniors this time around, but Remnant listeners, that is. Jonah returns to ruminate with some fire in his belly this week – on the wasting of energy on Twitter, the bizarre phenomenon of the mainstream-media respectable conservative, court packing, The Worst President in History™, a revisiting of the weed conversation from the last Remnant, and more. Also, the quote of the day – or maybe the month, or the year – might be this: “The very essence of serious thinking … is the ability to make distinctions between superficially similar things.”
Episode 263 · 1 month ago
Remnant first-timer Jonathan Adler joins Jonah today, not to watch Cheech and Chong over a bag of Doritos, but to talk about the politics of marijuana. Earlier in the year (right around the time that the world was ending, actually), Adler edited a volume entitled Marijuana Federalism, which explored the legal contradictions within the laws regarding cannabis in the U.S.; the situation is somewhat unprecedented, in that we now have a substance that is a federal crime to possess, while many states have had such an overwhelming turn in public opinion that this same substance has now become perfectly legal within their own jurisdiction. How do individual states get away with this without the feds swooping in? The amusing answer is something like: Eh, turns out that the feds are pretty understaffed.
Jonah then moves on to his role - well-known among the Remnant fan base - as Inquisitor of Libertarians, figuring out how Adler feels about total drug legalization. He gives one of the most grounded and logical responses to this inquisition we’ve ever heard on the program, continually emphasizing the fundamental fact of American federalism: “The freedom to live how you want to live also includes the freedom to live conservatively.” This brings the two gents down the avenues of nationalism, post-liberalism, and the hope for a return to localism, all wrapped up with a bow of “420” puns that Jonah just can’t help but put to good use.
Episode 262 · 1 month ago
Since the first six days of October 2020 have felt like 87 years, who’s better to sift through everything that has happened than one of The Dispatch’s own quadrumvirate of podcasters, Steve Hayes? Here to give Jonah the inside scoop on some of the background reporting he’s done for The Morning Dispatch, Steve has some ideas about how Trump’s overly-cinematic return to the White House could’ve been handled better, why there was a communication breakdown between Trump’s medical staff and his PR people, and, most mysteriously, what on God’s green earth Mark Meadows has been trying to do for the past few days.
Beyond these more Machiavellian machinations, they also delve into some of the downright silliness that’s gone on – such as the new pessimism that anything can even be done to stop COVID, since it’s a contagious disease (the stamping out of which has characterized (“Uh… literally the entire history of human civilization,” in Jonah’s words). They also give an update on the State of The Dispatch, and ponder what their place in the conservative media landscape may look like in a post-Trump era – whether that’s sooner or later.
Episode 261 · 1 month ago
This weekend’s Ruminant features Jonah running through a set of possible scenarios that might play out given President Trump’s COVID diagnosis – if we do say so ourselves, it’s a positively David French-like methodology given the approach to David’s new book (!). Will Trump be able to do a Zoom debate? Will Mike Pence have the opportunity to do more than he currently does (which, as of now, seems to be standing completely still in a pensive silence like a sculpture of a Roman general)?
Then, Jonah discusses the current partisan tendency for “both the right and the left [to] weaponized norms,” chastising opponents for hypocrisy while refusing to adopt responsibility for their own flubs that damage the constitutional order. He explores the ways in which this manifests in both the nationalism debates as well as the current SCOTUS mess, and how the more intellectually serious proponents of nationalism can’t seem to decide whether they actually like to play by the rules or make things up as they go. All of this is followed up by a veritable potpourri of quick hits: Inside baseball on how syndicated column publishing works, how dumb the tax code is, steaks, dogma, and more.